Almost all types of waste oil have the potential to be recycled safely, saving a precious non-renewable source and at the same time minimizing environmental pollution but most of used oil is handled improperly. The results are some are emptied in to sewers for going directly into water waste, adversely affecting water treatment plants, some are dumped directly on to the ground to kill weeds or is poured on to dirty roads or is dumped in deserts, where it can contaminate surface and ground water.
Lubricating oil is an important resource and a petroleum base product. The high price of oil and objective of saving valuable foreign exchange has resulted in efforts for regeneration of used lube oil. Regeneration of used lubricating oils is based on the fact that, “Petroleum lubricating oil are almost durable”.
Lubricating oils are impaired temporarily only because of accumulation during use or handling of contaminants coming from extraneous impurities and products of oil deterioration, which can be separated from the used oil by re-refining or re-conditioning. The treated oil, then, becomes almost equivalent to fresh or virgin oil.
In India, re-recycling waste oil industry is mainly an un-organized but some public service units (PSU) do re-recycling but most of the market demand is furnished by the small scale industrial units (SSI’s) but due to the use of Acid Clay Process they have been shut down or can refurnish till they adopt new certified process.
Environmentally Sound Technologies (EST)
Re-refiners and re-cyclers now have to use only environmentally sound technologies (EST) while re-cycling and refining waste oil. In case of oil re-refiners using acid clay process or modified acid clay process have been advised to switch over to Environmentally Sound Technologies only or close down.
The following processes have been approved as Environmentally Sound Processes,
1. Vacuum distillation with clay treatment. (We use this treatment)
2. Thin Film evaporation process.
3. Vacuum distillation with hydro treating.